Climbing Higher

"All right, girls. You did a good job in practice today, although I would like a little less talking between laps. . Now, don’t forget that we have a big meet this Saturday, so I’d like you all to get a good night’s rest before then. Be at the Westwood indoor pool on Main Street at [...]

Birch Trees of the Snow

Is this a dream? I’m walking through the birch trees half covered in melting snow as the breaking of dawn comes closer and closer to the snow-covered forest. The swift breeze is blowing against my face, making my hair blow in the wind as the broken leaves get blown into the sky far away. The [...]

A Special Present

Florence wiped her brow with her winter mitten, plunged her shovel into a giant mound of soft snow, and leaned on it for a break. She was almost finished. Her Uncle Larry had suggested that she shovel snow to make money for Christmas presents, and he had been right; it did pay well. But he [...]


It happened Christmas Day. I had gone outside to check on my ducks, when Scooter, the male pompom-headed Bali duck, came out from under the porch. I figured he had been sleeping down there. I crawled under to check on the girls, Cheepers and Smiley, who would probably be under there still asleep. Ducks always [...]


Amy made her way through the house. It was nice being able to live out here in the country. Not having to wake up to tooting trains or honking cars as she did when she lived in Seattle. True, they now lived by the highway, but at least the cars and trucks that drove by [...]

Izzy’s Gone!

Carl looked out the window. He could barely see the park across the street because of the fog. He had to stay at his house all day today because of the fog warning. Now all he had to do was to get his baby sister to bed so he could sit back and relax. She [...]

Daughter of Bastet

Her eyes snapped open, instantly awake. She swung her legs over the side of the bed and jumped out, fully dressed. Lightly, she padded down the hall and through the house. Cautiously, she cracked the sliding-glass door open, wincing as it squealed across the floor. She froze, half expecting her father shouting to “get back [...]


“This is dangerous,” I say. The cold wind stings my cheeks and ruffles my hair. But I keep climbing up the old rusty ladder, trying to ignore my numb hands and my pounding heart and the fact I’m over twenty feet in the air. “Well, yeah,” Addie says, snorting sarcastically. Isn’t she the perfect, ever-supporting [...]

My Temporary Window Art

The rain steadily falls, against the roof of my bus stop. The air is so cold I can see my sparkling white breath. I can already tell it’s going to be a long dreary day. When it rains, nothing goes my way. The weather makes my spirit drop, like the temperature when summer slips to [...]

The Mighty Miss Malone

The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis; Wendy Lamb Books: New York, 2012; $15.99 Usually I can tell whether I like a book or not within the first chapter. With this book, I could tell in the first sentence. When I read, “‘Once upon a time…’ If I could get away with it, that’s [...]

Summer of the Wolves

Summer of the Wolves, by Polly Carlson-Voiles; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers: New York, 2012; $15.99 Polly Carlson-Voiles’s Summer of the Wolves is a wonderful book about a twelve-year-old girl named Nika and her younger brother who were recently orphaned and are being sent to their long-lost uncle’s house in Minnesota for the [...]